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“Apsara never fails.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Apsara

Apsara
716 Public St, Providence, RI 02907
(401) 785-1490
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Ranked #75 of 732 Restaurants in Providence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Cambodian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch
Mexico City, Mexico
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Apsara never fails.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

My sister took me here many years ago, and I have been returning ever since. I went about five times on my last visit to Providence. The nime chow is a must. They are the best I have ever had anywhere. Almost everything I have tried there has been delicious except for a dish called "strange flavored" something or other. It was truly strange flavored. The adjectives on the menu are quite accurate. Some of my favorites are the tom kha soup, the Cantonese stir fry noodles, the pad thai, the lemongrass wings, and the list goes on. The delicious tea is included, and you can byob. They provide wine glasses and bottle openers. The prices are very affordable, and the portions are for sharing. Some people are put off by traveling through "the hood" to get there, but I think it adds to its character, and provides an entertaining atmosphere. I can't wait to return.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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59 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
    17
    4
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Warren, Rhode Island, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Excellent Asian Cuisine and BYOB!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

This is one of our favorite restaurants in Providence. The food is fantastic at good prices and it's a BYOB with a liquor store right across the street. I give it 4 stars because we frequently have to wait a long time for a table. Great popular place on Providences East Side

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“No love in the food”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

On a cold, wet, snowy night I wanted some hot soup. Server said I arrived too late for soup, 8pm. He recommended the chicken curry with noodles. It was just thrown together, not mixed or cooked to order. It was luke warm, had Zero flavor and resembled an old mop covered in peanut sauce. I felt as if i got left overs in a bowl. Not very appealing. I won't be back.

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Poughkeepsie, New York
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
239 helpful votes 239 helpful votes
“Excellent Variety of East Asian Cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

I first found this Cambodian-Vietnamese-Thai restaurant almost 20 years ago on a listserv for college students hosted by Brown University. It was highly rated for good quality meals at low prices. The same is true today.

Apsara is not easy to find, the Elmwood Avenue neighborhood is a bit sketchy, and the exterior looks like a glorified vinyl-sided diner, but the interior was renovated a couple of years ago to reflect the heritage of the owners and the food served. Everyone who works in this restaurant is probably a family member of some type and they aim to please. I've seen them be very diplomatic and accommodating with some pretty obnoxious customers.

Ice water and hot jasmine-scented tea are brought quickly as you peruse a very extensive menu. Everyone seems to start with the nime chow, the raw rice-paper wrap rolls stuffed with sprouts, shrimp and basil with a clear lime vinegar sauce studded with peanuts. You get two per order and they are outstanding. You can also chicken or vegetarian versions. For the main course, I always get the mixed seafood pad thai and judge every other restaurant's version by what I get at Apsara. Huge portion and full of flavor. You can get petty much any noodle dish or stir fry known in East Asia. I've sampled their fried rice, also excellent.

I have never been to their sister restaurant on Hope Street on the East Side, which is probably, judging by the neighborhood, more upscale, but I enjoy this funky, flavorful favorite and visit every time I'm anywhere near Rhode Island. There are few places where you can get a more flavorful meal served by friendly family members at about $15 a person. I can't recommend Apsara highly enough.

To be fair, there is one area that needs improvement: the restrooms. The women's room is down a steep flight of stairs and the men's room, just off the dining room, could use an update.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Less Thai Choices but great food overall , at a good price”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Dont let the neighborhood or location fool you. We were first time visitors and the food was very good. We had, however gone more for Thai/Chinese cuisine. So if you are looking for red/green/yellow curries or pineapple rice, you are out of luck.But be patient and try the cuisine on offer and you will have fun.Recommend it.If I am in Providence again, I will visit again.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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